A part of me feels like I should feel at least a little bit naughty about going on yet another adventure less than a month after getting back from Italy. The other part, however, is way too busy relishing the fact that I spent a week hanging out with Gustav Klimt and his buddies in stunning (and cold) Vienna.
‘Vienna’ is synonymous with the flourishing turn-of-the-century art scene dominated by the likes of Klimt, Shiele, and Kokoshka; in order words, if you’re going to visit this city, you need to hit the galleries. My personal favourites have to be The Belvedere Museum and The Leopold, where you can find Klimt’s The Kiss and Death & Life respectively. Don’t let my 6-AM-flight-face fool you – I was fangirling hard on the inside.
I love Christmas almost as much as I did when I was cute and little, so experiencing my first real Christmas market was a must. We had a pretty packed week planned out, which meant that we only had time for two – Stephansplatz and Schönbrunn. The market in Stephansplatz was smaller and had a bit of a cozier vibe which I preferred – but the Schönbrunn market was obviously beautiful in its own right (it’s held in a huge square which acts as the entrance to Schönbrunn palace).
One thing I can’t get over is just how efficient the transport system is in Vienna. Armed with a simplified map of the underground and solid advice from my Austrian workmate, getting around this gem of a city was easier than ordering schnitzel. The people are friendly and generally speak English pretty well, so if you find yourself confused just ask one of the locals for a bit of help.
If it’s a spot of shopping you’re looking for, then head on down to Mariahilfer Straße for the high-street experience, or take a train and a tram to Shopping City Sud – a huge expanse of shops to suit quite possibly any retail need you might have. Personally, I prefer the former; massive shopping centres have become a source of stress to me. I don’t know why, but that doesn’t mean my bank account suffers any less. Whoops.
Have you ever been to Vienna? What did you think of it? Share your thoughts in a comment below.